Whether you want to sharpen your knife skills, master the art of cooking with mindfulness or discover how to bake the perfect cake, the cooking classes below have got you covered. Never fear your kitchen again! By Jessica Allen.
The Brooklyn Kitchen
100 Frost Street
New York, NY 11211
In 2006, The Brooklyn Kitchen opened as a go-to space for home cooks, particularly with regard to kitchenware. Today you’ll find exactly what you need to make a great meal, including tools, spices, meats, produce and plenty of other carefully-sourced products. Its award-winning cooking school offers more than 100 classes, some focused on basic technique (such as knife skills or baking), types of cuisine and particular ingredients.
3853 Route 516
Old Bridge, NJ 08857
Run by a mother-and-daughter team, Heirloom Kitchen’s classes complement its astonishing array of artisanal items and seasonal products. On Saturday evenings, you and your sweetie can have a “date night” and learn to make tapas and pasta (these events include hands-on instruction as well as a sit-down meal). Other classes cover making your own bread and butter, understanding the five French Mother sauces, and ways to use just-picked produce from a nearby farm. There’s even a cookie decorating class for kids held at a local Whole Foods Market.
1403 Clinton Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Classes at Hudson Table balance actual tool-in-hand prep work, stirring, simmering, and cooking with hanging out and socializing. Instructors are generally young, friendly and veterans of the industry who want you to have fun and learn a thing or two. There are a few types of classes available, including Chef’s Table, at which you’ll watch a cooking demonstration (and enjoy the fruits of those labors), as well as more involved classes where you’ll help prep and cook an entire multi-course meal that’s then shared with all other participants.
Institute of Culinary Education
225 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
As many as 30,000 people take a class at the Institute of Culinary Education each year, and ICE is committed to helping each one find his or her “culinary voice.” It’s an intense mission, which is why the school offers some 1,500 different classes for newbies as well as talented amateurs and established professionals — each one taught by working chefs and noteworthy veterans.
La Scuola di Eataly
200 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Here’s where to go to learn everything there is to know about pasta e fagioli and tiramisu and formaggio and pizza, about seasonal vegetarian cooking and key phrases to use when traveling through Piedmont, about making Baci and risotto. Eataly is a huge temple to all things Italian, founded in part by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich — some of the biggest names in cooking today. The philosophy behind Eataly’s school is “the more you know, the more you enjoy.” And there’s a ton to learn.
League of Kitchens
New York, NY
League of Kitchens offers small-group, hands-on instruction in a range of cuisines from around the world. The catch? Classes take place in the cook’s kitchen, not at a facility or school. As part of this “immersive culinary adventure,” you’ll literally spend a few hours at the stove of an immigrant who’ll feed you, teach you, and share her story (and, if you’re lucky, give you a few family recipes to take home). Right now instructors include Nawida, from Afghanistan; Dolly, from Trinidad; Mirta, from Argentina; Damira, from Uzbekistan; and Afsari, from Bangladesh.
My Cooking Party
335 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
Calling all groups! My Cooking Party gathers you and several of your closest friends for an afternoon or evening of schmoozing, boozing, and, of course, cooking in a beautiful Hell’s Kitchen loft (note: MCP will shortly be expanding to Chelsea). The atmosphere is festive, the spirit ever-so-slightly competitive. In fact, many of MCP’s events pit your team against other participants, similar to shows like “Iron Chef,” to see who can create the best bite (instructors are on hand to offer suggestions and guidance.) At the end, everyone sits down to sample and discuss.
Natural Gourmet Institute
48 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
If you’re looking for a class with a strong side of ethics and positivity, take a look at Natural Gourmet Institute. Since 1977, the folks here have been “preparing food that is seasonal, local, whole, traditional, balanced, fresh, and delicious” and “empowering individuals and communities to take charge of their health and well-being,” among other core values. You can make your own vegan pizza, decorate gluten and soy-free cakes, earn a food blogging certificate, discover home remedies for everyday ailments, or learn how to start your own food business.
Jessica Allen is a New York-based writer.